The Most Isolated Town on Earth Wants a Radical Redesign 

Smack dab in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 miles from human civilization, lies one of the most isolated towns in the world. It’s on an island called Tristan da Cunha, and for the first time, it’s looking to the outside world to plan its future.
» 3/31/15 4:54pm Yesterday 4:54pm

A Simple Design Tweak May Keep Drunk People From Falling On Train Tracks

The number of deaths linked to drunk passengers who wander off the platform and onto the tracks has steadily increased over the years. But a new study of these falls shows that many of them occur in the same way—and that there might be a few simple ways to prevent some of them. » 3/30/15 11:26am Monday 11:26am

Flying SUX! The Weirdest Stories Behind Our Airport Codes

You see them everywhere: On highway signs, plane tickets, and even humblebraggy Twitter updates. Some are obvious and some make no sense. But what do these three-letter airport codes really mean? » 3/19/15 3:43pm 3/19/15 3:43pm

The Insane Hanging Bridges That Time Forgot 

In retrospect, history's march into the future looks like a smooth catenary arch towards the present. But some technologies don't make it. Sometimes, grand visions of the future only last for a few years—or maybe a few decades. » 2/06/15 6:41pm 2/06/15 6:41pm

Are These the Self-Driving Cars of the Future?

Speed Limits, Skybridges, Paint: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

New York City takes a big step to save lives on the streets, but not everyone wants to slow down. And Twitter's proposing a way to keep its employees separated from the regular people of San Francisco, at least while they're at work. It's What's Ruining Our Cities! » 11/09/14 1:00pm 11/09/14 1:00pm

Zurich Installed 4,500 Street Sensors to Count Every Car in the City

Congestion pricing—the implementation of high tolls to keep cars out of congested downtown areas—is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and emissions. Zurich's plan goes above and beyond that, using a network of sensors to track the number of cars that enter its downtown and prevent more cars from… » 10/16/14 3:46pm 10/16/14 3:46pm

Explore the Largest Steam Pipe System in the World, Hidden Beneath NYC

In its latest adventure, New York Times' Living City series explores the city's enormous underground steam distribution system. Unlike anywhere in the world, New York hides away the largest steam system that powers all types of humidification sources, preserving museum art to even dishwashers in every restaurant… » 10/09/14 5:32pm 10/09/14 5:32pm

Toyota's New Transit Idea Is Like a Bikeshare for Tiny Electric Cars

Small, weird-looking smartcars are nothing new; there are plenty of them on the road, especially in cities where space is at a premium. But Toyota has launched something that makes great use of its zippy 3-wheeled i-Road vehicles: a new car-sharing service that integrates with a city's existing transit system. » 9/12/14 5:01pm 9/12/14 5:01pm

Zipping from San Francisco to Oakland in 5 Minutes

Last week I had two friends from the Bay Area over to my apartment in Los Angeles. They recently moved to San Francisco from Oakland and I asked how they liked their new digs. "We love it. But I wish there was a way to get between Oakland and San Francisco easier." » 8/22/14 5:17pm 8/22/14 5:17pm

Will Autonomous Cars Kill the Traffic Light?

The first electric traffic light blazed to life a century ago this month, transforming the way our cities managed vehicular flow. But this icon of the automobile age could become a rarity on our American roads, thanks to the advent of autonomous cars. » 8/20/14 1:27pm 8/20/14 1:27pm

Americans Have Taken 23 Million Bike Share Rides and No One Has Died

With 36 cities across the country now hosting their own systems, bike share is almost becoming an American institution. According to a new report, it's estimated that Americans have taken 23 million rides since 2007 (wow!), but here's the most amazing part: Not a single death has been attributed to a bike share system… » 8/12/14 1:46pm 8/12/14 1:46pm

Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:44pm 7/17/14 4:44pm

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

Scott Simon's bio on the NPR website describes him as "one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters," and it's tough to argue with that. As a Peabody-winning journalist with decades of experience, Simon's credentials are unimpeachable, and as the Saturday host of Weekend Edition, he regularly shows… » 7/07/14 5:32pm 7/07/14 5:32pm

Why Countdown Clocks for Pedestrians Actually Cause More Car Crashes

As a frequent traveler by foot, I love countdowns at crosswalks. They tell me whether I should wait out 2 seconds or leisurely walk across in 15. And indeed, these countdowns do make pedestrians safer. But it turns out that countdowns actually cause more crashes between cars. Here's why. » 7/01/14 4:34pm 7/01/14 4:34pm

Why Don't More Cities Have E-Bike Shares?

This week, Madrid became the first European city to launch a fully electric bike share system for its residents. It works just like a regular bike share, but better: An electric motor kicks in to help with pedaling, and most importantly, give you an extra push up hills. Why isn't this standard for bike shares… » 6/24/14 4:56pm 6/24/14 4:56pm

This London bus stop is made entirely from 100,000 Lego bricks

An entire Lego bus stop built to Transport for London specifications has been constructed in London's Regent Street—right in front of a toy store, of course. The route signs, the windows, even the seats are made of Lego bricks! » 6/20/14 5:02pm 6/20/14 5:02pm

5 Visions for the Future of New York City Streets

Last month, as part of our Home of the Future, we asked 10 urban thinkers to answer this question: "What should be the future of the New York City street?" From gadget-free sidewalks to self-driving cars, here are five visions for the streets of tomorrow. » 6/04/14 7:09pm 6/04/14 7:09pm

How Bad Street Design Kills Pedestrians

In the United States between 2003 and 2012, one pedestrian was hit by a car every eight minutes. 676,000 of those pedestrians lived. 47,025 of those pedestrians died. That's 16 times the number of people who were killed by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes during the same period. » 6/03/14 1:57pm 6/03/14 1:57pm

What Will Happen When All Paris Traffic Slows To 19 Miles Per Hour?

Sixty percent vehicles in Paris run on diesel, and the city is struggling to curb emissions—banning half its cars for a day, making public transport and bike shares free for a weekend, and pedestrianizing large swathes of the urban grid. Now, a new proposal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo will cap the speed limit at 30… » 5/27/14 7:12pm 5/27/14 7:12pm